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Update on potential Arizona trail camera ban

Potential Arizona trail camera ban for hunting

Trail camera use in question in Arizona. Photo credit: Brady Miller

On Friday, December 4, Arizona Game and Fish Department held one of their annual commission meetings. Note: We wanted to bring this to everyone's attention and will be supplementing this article as we receive more information.

On November 20, the public meeting notice and agenda were available and one certain item on this agenda you could tell was going to be a hot topic. That hot topic was trail camera use in Arizona. The last time changes were made to trail camera use in Arizona was in 2018, you can read more on those previous changes here

Number 14 on the Dec. 4 agenda was the following:

Request to Approve a Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Amending Article 3. Taking and Handling of Wildlife. Presenter: Larry Phoenix, FOR3 Regional Supervisor. The Department will ask the Commission to vote to approve a Notice of Rulemaking Docket Opening, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Economic Impact Statement to initiate rulemaking to amend rules within Article 3. Taking and Handling of Wildlife, related to the use of game cameras.”

During the meeting, the commission approved Option #1 in a 5-0 vote which is to ban the use of all trail cameras.

Option 1 is as follows:

Ban the use of all trail cameras

R12-4-301: Repeal definition of “live action trail camera.”

R12-4-301: Add definition: “Trail camera” means an unmanned device used to capture images, video, or location data of wildlife.

R12-4-303: A person shall not use a trail camera, or images from a trail camera, for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife, or locating wildlife for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife.

Other options included a season on the use of trail cameras with a closed season from July 1 to January 31.

Option 2 is as follows:

Establish a trail camera season

R12-4-301: Add definition: "Trail camera" means an unmanned device used to capture images, video, or location data of wildlife.

R12-4-303: A person shall not use a trail camera, or images from a trail camera, for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife, or locating wildlife for the purpose of taking or aiding in the take of wildlife from July 1 through January 31 annually.


There has already been a petition started on Change.org gathering signatures in opposition of this potential ban. You can check out the petition here.

Stay tuned for more updates as this moves along and when the public comment period will be. Note: this isn't set in stone at this time. If you would like to contact the Arizona Game and Fish Commission in the meantime, their name and contact information are below.

Arizona Commission Members Contact Information

Name Location Email
Eric S. Sparks Tucson Contact here
Kurt R. Davis Phoenix Contact here
Leland S. Brake Elgin Contact here
James E. Goughnour Payson Contact here
Todd G. Geiler Prescott Contact here

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